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Abstract

Skill shortages in regional Australia are having a profound effect upon regional sustainability and renewal. The causes and drivers of skill shortages involve a complex interplay between macroeconomic trends and proximal causes. This paper draws together recent policy initiatives and research on skill shortages in the Australian context and the implications this has for regional Australia. Skilled migration has become a key element in Australia’s strategy to address major human capital issues and imperatives and specific reference is made to regional skilled migration initiatives as a “glocalised” response to regional skill shortages. Recent reforms in migration policy towards a demand-driven, economic modelling system, has seen greater input from states/territories and regions into the required skills and types of targeted skilled migration programs needed to assist in meeting regional skill shortages. The paper reviews several pieces of research on regional skilled migration before concluding with some key issues and directions for future research in relation to the role and effectiveness of the regional skilled migration scheme in assisting Australia to address regional skill shortages.

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